This administration has taken the boldest initiatives ever to fight corruption since independence – Nana Akufo Addo
President Nana Akufo-Addo claims that his administration has made the boldest efforts since independence to reform and increase the ability of the nation’s institutions to combat corruption in the public sector.
“Government has attacked corruption not in words, but intangible acts,” he says. We have rejected empty exhortations and ostentatious condemnations of unproven malfeasance. It was a comprehensive strategy.”
On Friday, December 10, 2021, the President delivered the keynote address at the National Anti-Corruption Conference, which was organized by the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ).
He stated emphatically, “we have protected the public purse, we have made institutional reforms, we have enacted additional, requisite laws, and we have resourced more adequately the accountability organs of state.” Our campaign against corruption has been based on legislative, financial, and institutional action, rather than empty rhetoric.”
Outlining his government’s achievements since taking office in 2017, he noted that he has had to ensure that every single alleged act of corruption leveled against any of his appointees has been examined by independent authorities such as CHRAJ, the CID, and, in certain circumstances, Parliament itself.
Using the suspension of the then-head of the Public Procurement Agency as an example,
the President stated that “following recommendations from CHRAJ, based on their investigation, I removed him from office in October 2020, and the Office of Special Prosecutor is seized with the matter of prosecution.”
If an appointee is cleared of any wrongdoing, the evidence presented and recommendations made by these agencies after the investigations are completed are what clear the accused people, not me.”
According to President, “there are some who refuse to accept my method of proceeding, and have characterized me as a ‘clearing agent,’ because,
for them, the mere allegation without more is enough to merit condemnation of the public official, even though they did not apply this principle when they were in office.” For my part, I will not abandon due process in the battle against corruption, regardless of the consequences.”
With a clear understanding that corruption thrives in an environment that encourages its concealment, he informed the audience that his government has ensured the passage of the Right to Information Act, 2019 (Act 989), which will foster a culture of transparency and accountability in public affairs.
Furthermore, the President announced that Parliament had enacted the Witness Protection Act, 2018, (Act 975), to which he gave his approval on August 24th.
He explained that the Act established a Witness Protection Agency to establish a witness protection scheme as a vehicle for offering protection to people who are required to cooperate with law enforcement agencies as witnesses in the investigation and prosecution of cases, particularly corruption cases involving public officials.
Last year, he stated that the Criminal Offences (Amendment) Act, 2020 (Act 1034) was passed to amend section 239 of the Criminal Offences Act, to reclassify the crime of corruption, which was previously a misdemeanor, as a felony, and to ensure stiffer penalties of not less than twelve (12) years and not more than twenty-five (25) years in prison.
He stressed that the overarching goal of his government’s digitalization agenda, which includes a robust national identification system, digital property address system, paperless port system, e-justice system, pensions and insurance data, a digitized land registry, and mobile money interoperability system, is to improve transparency, accountability, and efficiency in the public sector.
“In the end, a digital environment aids in the elimination and prevention of corruption in many organizations and agencies.” Passport offices, ports and harbors, the Registrar-Department, General’s the National Health Insurance Service, and the Driver Vehicle and Licensing Authority, which were once fertile ground for corruption, are being altered beyond recognition, he claimed.